Author Topic: Son's needy mother-in-law  (Read 9741 times)

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sher62

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Son's needy mother-in-law
« on: May 13, 2012, 01:42:48 PM »
Hi everyone,
     My son is married to a girl who has a needy mother. Her mother was divorced many years ago and raised 3 kids on her own, for which I commend her. My problem is she has lived with them on and off for years. She seems like a teenager. They buy her cars, computers and anything else she wants. My son is willing to help her all he can. My problem is I am not needy and I get jealous of the way he takes care of her. I don't want to cause a problem, so I never say anything. Any advice about what I should do? I hate this green eyed monster called jealousy.   Sher62

Offline Pen

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 02:52:49 PM »
Sher62, so sorry you are in pain over this. I too have struggled with jealousy & it is an awful feeling. My situation isn't the exactly the same as yours, but similar in some ways.  It's painful to see our DSs be more attentive to a "new" family than to his own.

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Welcome :)
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Doe

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 04:53:47 PM »
Hi Sher-

What is it that you're jealous of?  The things he buys for her?  The attention he gives her?  Does he pay attention to you? 

I do understand the jealousy of DIL FOO but I wasn't sure which direction yours goes.

Whatever it is, I think coming here and complaining about it to women who understand might help a little!!  You can let it all out here!  :) :)

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 12:55:12 AM »
Hi and Welcome Sher ,

honestly ? Your son will soon tire of a needy inlaw .
Once a family arrives his attention will be needed elsewhere and his dollars .
Sit tight and be as charming as you can , it always earns you brownie points . :)

sher62

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 02:11:02 PM »
YWell, I did it. I got so angry on Mother's Day weekend that I blew a gasket. My son's mother-in-law visited me, on her way to move in with my son and his family again on Saturday. The first thing she said, "I can't believe your son bought me a car without air conditioning." She came in the house and proceeded to tell me all the sweet things my son has done for her. For instance when she saw the sweet gift he and his wife got me for Christmas, she said, " Oh what can we do with those, they got me one too except mine is bigger. But, let me tell show you the computer he got me for Christmas, he insisted I have." He didn't get me one for Christmas. There were many other references about what they did for her, but I won't mention them all.She also lives with them. I don't know what came over me. I didn't say anthing to her, but when my son called me for Mother's Day I cried and told him what happened. He wanted to explain, but I told him I didn't mind that he helped her at all, I just don't want her to throw it in my face. I really mean that. I have concluded that we are both needy in different ways. She gets to see him everyday and I don't, could that be an issue? But I don't know how to move on. I am so embarrassed. Any advice?
P.S. I will see her in August. How or what do I do? Thanks everyone, Sher62

 

sher62

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 02:22:29 PM »
I forgot to mention the most important thing. I am very sorry for my outburst on Sunday  and I need advice on how to proceed and move on. I am a mess.  Thanks again

Offline Doe

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 03:38:29 PM »
He wanted to explain, but I told him I didn't mind that he helped her at all, I just don't want her to throw it in my face.

Sher, maybe you could call him again and find out what he was going to explain?  Could it be that maybe you do mind that he helps her but just don't like the way it sounds when you say it?  (She sounds very annoying to me.)

I have 2 sons - with one, I could say that I was jealous of the attention he spends on someone else, could I have some more of his attention?   The other one, I would never broach that subject with him.  It sounds like your son might be receptive to some honest feelings from you - is that the case?

sher62

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 05:08:30 PM »
Thank you for responding, Doe. I did call my son and he explained that his wife needs to help her mother. They both feel she isn't capable of taking care of herself. They say she's like taking care of a teenager.  He is sorry I don't get as much attention as she gets, but I am his  #1 and if I needed him he would help me for whatever reason. He and his wife are wonderful people and quite sincere. Since I threw this fit, I don't know I am going to face the mother in law when I see her in August. Any advice?

Offline Doe

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 05:51:40 PM »
So she doesn't have a clue about how you feel, right?  I would start thinking about her as a little demented, since that's how your son sees her and stop expecting adult behavior from her.

And since your son is on your side, you  might ask him for pointers about how to put up with her.    I think you could do that without coming between him and his wife.   Maybe have a heart to heart with him, then put the subject aside.  I think that's what I would do.  But I'm not sure what kind of outcome you're looking for.

Maybe some DILs here will have some input about how they see this?


sher62

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 06:38:03 PM »
Doe, I"m not sure if they have talked to her or not, and I don't want to ask. I think I will just leave it alone. I have made my son and his wife aware of it and I am glad I did. Hopefully, we can all move forward. Thank you very much for your concern and great advice. Sher

Offline Pen

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 08:41:42 PM »
Sher, I understand your feelings of embarrassment. I remember tossing and turning night after night when I once said something a little needy to DS & started to tear up. I was immediately ashamed, turned away & did not want to pursue it. After he left I was worried that he would think less of me, tell DIL, and the 2 of them would laugh at the crazy, needy, lonely old woman I'd become.

Shake it off & move on. Please don't lose sleep over it like I did, it's not worth it! Your plan to leave it alone for now seems reasonable; much better to talk about it later (if you must) when you're not so raw and apt to cry again.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

sher62

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 08:55:50 PM »
Thank you very much for your response. I, like you, do tend to cry and then I don't make sense because I'm embarrassed. I will take your advice and try not to lose sleep over the situation. I said my peace and I'm ok with it. May God Bless you and yours. sher

Offline Scoop

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 06:29:29 AM »
Sher - it only becomes a competition if you buy into it.  So if MIL starts talking about what your DS and DIL buy for her, then YOU start talking about how glad you are that you are 'independent'.  Use lines like "well, that's okay if you like that, but I like THIS".  It changes the yardstick that you're measuring against.  It's not fair to use her yardstick, if it makes you feel like you don't measure up.  Let's just see how SHE measures up using YOUR yardstick.

If she ramps up, so do you, by pulling out words like "burden" ("I would hate to be a burden on my children.")  If pressed (by DIL or DS), you just say "oh, I didn't mean DILsMOM, I meant being a financial and emotional drain on MY kids."

This woman is a bully.  She's bullying her DD and SIL into 'taking care' of her.  And she's trying to bully YOU into feeling bad, because it makes her feel good.  Sadly, in my experience, the only way to beat a bully is to be a BIGGER bully.  So yeah, don't be afraid to make comments that show that you're ONTO her and that you are NOT to be messed with.

One of my favourites is: "That sounds like something you would say."  Because it shows the true intentions of her words.  If she was saying something sweet, the only interpretation could be "you're such a sweet person, you always say sweet things".  If her words were NOT sweet, then it means "you're a big meanie, who says mean things".  And if she argues, then you know that her intentions were NOT sweet.

Good luck.

Offline Doe

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 07:08:32 AM »
Sadly, in my experience, the only way to beat a bully is to be a BIGGER bully. 

Scoop, you made me chuckle!  I think another way to handle a bully is to ignore them, not take them seriously, or play with what they're saying.  But you have to be careful - sometimes, it's like playing with firecrackers!

The main thing is, don't let them bully you!  They can go through all the motions but if you don't get close enough for them to touch you, then they can't have the effect they are going for (jmho).


Offline Pooh

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Re: Son's needy mother-in-law
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 09:36:44 AM »
And maybe try to put a different perspective on it for yourself.  Instead of being jealous of what they do for her, how about being proud of yourself for not being that way.  I see nothing to be jealous of from your conversation with her.  She has no home of her own, is having to rely on them for everything and a braggert!  Pssssh....I wouldn't be jealous of nothing that woman thinks she has.  :)
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell